Monday, November 30, 2009

getting ready for christmas

Tricia and I ran around town today collecting bits and pieces to amp up the Christmas-ness at her house. I love spending her money, and she is sweet enough to make me feel like I have great ideas.

DSC06237But tonight it was the kids turn at decorating, with a little help from their Papa.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

transiberian orchestra

tso1Dan is off to India, but the rest  of us started the holiday season off tonight attending this fun concert.




happy birthday clark

DSC06207We had a great time playing with Clark over the holiday and celebrating his birthday only added to the fun. Clark loves to make monster sounds and chase around the house, something his Papa enjoys joining in, being the scariest one of all.


It was after Clark had left town that Papa was at the grocery store with Izzy when a little boy in a nearby cart made a huge growl at Izzy, much to his mother’s mortification. And  just as she reprimanded him,


Izzy made a big ol’ growl right back at him. Izzy and Clark truly are the best of friends.  He has a special name for her that he made up himself.


She has great big smiles to repay his attentions. But he will be pleased to know that she has been busy teaching us how to say her name like “Clarkie does.”

Of course, a dinosaur cake was perfect for this little monster and his monster trainees!

Papa was glad that he still likes cars as well.

Friday, November 27, 2009


We have been doing a geocaching RIP series. DSC06150



Five or six clues have been made using information on headstones or other cemetery fixtures.


We then used those clues to find the cache. This has been really fun for our group, since we all have had  pieces of the puzzles to work on. When we finished caching the six cemeteries, the clues from those  led us to a seventh and final cache. DSC06136 DSC06156

The days have been cool and clear and kicking through the leaves has been fun for all of us…love the sound and the smell.

The seventh and final cache was in the woods, I mean

DSC06206In The Woods!






We actually had to cross two small streams before negotiating the woods. I was really kind of scared the whole time.DSC06201 Since I have no sense of direction, I was more or less obligated to stay with Tricia and Cherylyn to have a hope of getting out there alive and finding the car again.


When at last we found the cache, we realized that our pen had been left behind in the car. For non-geocachers, you need to know that unless you sign the log, you can’t really prove that you have been there and record your visit. This was disastrous! There was however, a never-been-sharpened pencil in the cache box. Brianna gave up her used but still kind-of-okay glow in the dark bracelet  for the trade. Then Cherylyn chewed, yes chewed down the bark around the lead. The tiny piece of lead that was exposed broke, but somehow she managed to begin writing with it…until she lost her grip and it dropped into the carpet of leaves and forest debris. More chewing.



Having fully logged ourselves, we wended our way home, full of memories.



Two of my favorite comments:

One came from Brianna saying that if she was ever trying to survive in a forest she would want to be with Cherylyn.


The other came from Jonah. He doesn’t  want to be buried.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

happy thanksgiving





Everyone was beautiful and everything was delicious.





Carrying on with our BAG tradition:


Blessing – That the major events in our Stake this past year, including Trek, Millenial Day and the Open House for the Stake  Center have gone well.

Accomplishment – Losing 25 pounds.

Goal – Lose 10 more and keep it off.


Blessing – To have a healthy and strong body.

Accomplishment – Learning to be an online new FamilySearch support missionary.

Goal – Organize family pictures from the past.


Blessing – To be able to do well in her schoolwork with a minimum amount of help from mom and dad.

Accomplishment – Turning 14 (today!)

Goal – Go to a live high school.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

best place to layover


Our trips to Charlotte have been much easier since my brother moved to Jacksonville. We go up the night before, which cuts two hours off our day trip. John and Joy are wonderful hosts. We enjoy hanging out with them whenever we have the opportunity. This trip, Magnum was busy impressing us with his mad fetching- the-newspaper skills.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

grateful praise


The Williams’s invited us over for lunch and a  ride in their Mule.





The goats were very friendly, especially since The Mule was carrying feed. I would have loved to have captured a picture of the billy that jumped in Doug’s lap!


But here is a cute little kid.




Greg sent his world champion on a short sprint around this enclosure. This gorgeous animal who was  fabulously impressive  to the experts, even gave a novice like me a thrill.DSC06108

We took a ride through the handsome acreage enjoying the hayfields as well as the natural habitat that has been thoughtfully managed. DSC06120

There were so many things to do today, but this unexpected invitation to enjoy the afternoon with wonderful people went right to the top of list. It was a perfect day for celebrating  the beauty of the earth.

feeding alliance

Our stake Relief Society President, Danette Williams, has worked with a wonderful group of people including leaders of other churches, Walmart, Publix and the Salvation Army to help with the Citrus County  Thanksgiving Project. Our church donated $30,000 worth of food today.

DSC06081Danette, the Mayor of Inverness (Bob Plaisted), my hubby and the chairman of the county commission, John
Thrumston. DSC06093  

Recipients that have been registering over the past two months  came to pick up their boxes of food and a turkey.

The food from the church was marked with labels in six languages. DSC06100And over 40 members of the Lecanto Ward came to be of service todayDSC06102

 DSC06097among others.

Monday, November 16, 2009

sunday and monday in southern california

While much of the family returned home to be ready for work and school on Monday, we were able to stay and enjoy watching, not only our two grandsons, but also, their mother and father in the Primary Children’s Sacrament Meeting Program. Of course, I thought that my grandsons did a fabulous job on their fully memorized parts. I am wondering how I will remember the interesting and exciting  way that Truman started off by saying:


We enjoyed spending the afternoon with them and then later in the evening with my sister and her family.

Monday morning dawned a picture perfect day. We had a gorgeous drive up the coast and then went to Atrium Court for breakfast before catching our plane.DSC06076 DSC06077 

That was nice way to start a long travel day.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

party notes

DSC06043 I went with Jen to help Pat get ready for the party. She was so very excited about her beautiful outfit thanks to Lori. Jen did her makeup and I helped a little bit with her hair.


I tried to prepare her for the party and told her many times that loads of people were going to be there, just to see her. That was something she couldn’t even imagine. When we actually got to the party, she leaned over and exclaimed that there “sure are a lot of Mormons here tonight.” When I told her that they all belonged to her she was incredulous. “Me?”

Her sons,DSC06057 and her daughters-in-law, DSC06067and her grandchildren, DSC06056and her great-grandchildren.

 DSC06054 DSC06071

It was  fun socializing with everyone during dinner. Paul reminded me of a time when he was in high school and I used to tutor him in math. Now, he has a son that is an amazing mathematician, and I have a daughter who doesn’t like math any better than he did. It is funny how things like that happen in families.

P1040334We all enjoyed the family trivia game. My own  daughters almost seemed as if  they were 9, 11 and 13 again. Their grown-up faces showed the same sense of wonder and delight from yesteryear as they listened to the boyhood adventures stories of  their father and beloved uncles.DSC06070

DSC06073Doug and Tricia had put together a beautiful 26 minute picture/music presentation to finish the evening. Some of  little ones were all tuckered out.


Earlier Doug had asked his mother how she met his father. DSC06053

It is a story he has heard many times over the years. It did delight him that tonight she remembers. DSC06047 His dad gave a nice response expressing his joy that he had married the right person in the right place. And for that,

we are all truly thankful as well.

60th anniversary party

image Sixty years ago
They asked the Lord’s blessing
On their new love
Now they rejoice in Thanksgiving
For the fulfillment of that love

Please join
Pat and Bruce Carter


as they celebrate their 60th anniversary
On 14 November 2009

6:00pm until 9:00pm
Bradford Square Pavilion
1180 N. Bradford, Placentia, California

Friday, November 13, 2009

friday in southern california

DSC05969Our bodies are defying the time change. Every morning our bedroom neighbors squeak their doors and stand in the hallway. Then I jump out of bed because I know they are up and grab them for hugs and kisses and tickles. This morning, however, it was only these two faces waiting. So after the aforementioned snuggle time, Doug and I crept out of the house with these two for breakfast.

Then Doug, Tricia and I went back to the courts at Stagecoach Park.


Yesterday we got permission to capture Truby, so he skipped school with the rest of the truants. And of course, you know where truants go in southern California…


DSC05975  DSC05971 

They go hang out with the surfers…






They took off their shoes and socks, rolled up their pants legs and tied their jackets around their waist and chased waves.

It was a gorgeous morning at the


beach. We saw a pod of dolphins and a seal! The boys enjoyed running down the pier as well and checking out all the buckets where the fisherpeople were storing their catches. And…they didn’t get too drenched  ;)



After all that, it was only noon!






Doug had been hanging out with his parents doing one of their favorites activities this morning…watching planes land. But we all met up for lunch at the the Crab Cooker in Newport Beach.DSC05995  DSC05982












DSC05985Then it was back into the cars for a quick ferry ride DSC06004DSC06009

to Balboa Island where they sell Balboa Bars and other delicious things for dessert.









Everyone headed different directions after lunch. Our different direction was Fashion Island, for a little bit of shopping

DSC06033  DSC06033 DSC06030






and a ride on the carousel, of course.